The Power of Character

Do you know your character strengths? It took me a long way into my life to appreciate mine.  But once I had my own kids and they started to walk and talk, my mind seemed to naturally focus on training character, building their individual strengths, and helping them improve traits that would add up to […]
Wendy Jones
January 19, 2020

Do you know your character strengths? It took me a long way into my life to appreciate mine.  But once I had my own kids and they started to walk and talk, my mind seemed to naturally focus on training character, building their individual strengths, and helping them improve traits that would add up to a good life.  In the exhilarating moments from temper tantrums to accolades, and I have plenty of stories on both ends,  I always zeroed in on two things:

  1. What was the character trait I wanted to cultivate in them?

2.   What was the character trait that they were displaying in  the moment? 

Sometimes it was a matter of shifting things, others a time to build on what seemed to come naturally to them. How could I steer stubbornness towards tenacity, or timidity towards confidence or encourage him to build leadership skills without being heavy handed, which isn’t my style at all. One of my earliest and most fundamental decisions was holding Lauren back in preschool because, observing some timidity, I thought if I pushed her forward to kindergarten she may have been inclined to follow instead of lead. Although her whole senior year of high school I sensed she was ready for college, all those years in between, I saw her more sure of herself and able to hold her own space in relationships, academics, and team positions. 

As the years went on and I coached young athletes and continued raising my kids, my decisions centered around building their own awareness of their character strengths and although I’m not close to finished, I have watched them grow in confidence and emotional strength through difficult situations.  I realized that it wasn’t shielding kids from challenges as much as supporting them through any obstacles that they face that turns them into mature versions of the kids I knew, ready to leave for college and equipped and excited to face the unknown. 

I’ve been influenced all my life by great coaches, teachers, and my own parents and am extremely grateful for the years that I was able to spend at home with my kids. I’m inspired to take the things I’ve learned and help people apply them to their own game of life.  Do you want to experience more fulfillment & flow state in your life - with your family, in your parenting moments, with your team?

There are 24 Positive Psychology character strengths that every human possesses in differing degrees. Do you know your personal mix? Whether we are on the job, at home, in a moment with our kids, or with our team, in order to experience flow state, our top 5 character strengths must be in play. 

Knowing our kids and what they need from us emotionally, physically, and psychologically is a game changer and although we need to trust our own gut, we also need to train it.  

The VIA Character assessment is the tool I use to help people get a tangible understanding of their kids or players. The cool thing about Positive Psychology is that it is grounded in growth mindset, so these traits are flexible and there are specific things we can do if we have areas we want to build.  I have taken the VIA three times over the past five years and watched as my character strengths that were near the lower half, especially bravery, rose as I conquered things like coaching and public speaking that I was afraid of.  They also helped me form my own personal philosophy,

To create calm and connection with every breath and movement.”

 I have been amazed how having a personal philosophy at the front of my mind helps me make decisions and adds more purpose and awareness to my day. 

Purpose, clarity, meaning…all of these qualities help us create flow state and the moments that become the highlights of our life.  These moments help motivate us when times are tough and teach us infinitely more about our strength and the unique qualities we each possess that give us the ability to be great…if we believe in ourselves and are willing to put in the work.

 If you are looking to shift, transition and create more flow in your life, I would be happy to help. We only get one go around, we aren’t here just to battle and survive. We all go through hard times, it’s when we use them to learn and motivate ourselves that we break through to another level of our potential.  It’s in you, your kids, your players…it’s everywhere you look.  The backbone of good choices in our lives centers around our own self awareness, and single choices made over and over again are the building blocks of generations. Give your life and the people you love the gift of your own journey to self awareness.

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About the author:
Wendy Jones is a mother of four, lifelong athlete, writer, and optimism & resilience coach and speaker. Through 20 years of parenting and relationship struggles, she believes that vulnerability and our willingness to share our stories is a way to heal ourselves

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